He is one of the most iconic and popular characters of the world, along with Charlie Chaplin’s Tramp, Mr. Bean, King Kong, Godzilla, Indiana Jones, Darth Vader, Smeagol, The Terminator, Rocky, Potter and Captain Jack Sparrow etc.
Of course, for connoisseurs, its not merely a matter of popularity, which is why any critic’s list of great characters will have Tyler Darden, Keyser Suze, The Joker, Han Solo, Hannibal Lecter, Norman Bates, Travis Bickle, Forrest Gump, Don Vito Corleone, Tuco (Ellie Wallach) from Good Bad and Ugly and the Dude.
If forced I will rank the greatest as
- Smeagol (Andy Serkis)
- The Dude (Jeff Bridges)
- Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford)
- The Tramp (Charlie Chaplin)
- Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp)
- Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers)
- The Joker (Heath Ledger)
- Tyler Darden (Brad Pitt)
- Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando)
- Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone)
- Tuco (Elli Wallach)
- Han Solo (Harrison Ford)
- Jason Bourne (Matt Damon)
- Keyser Suze (Kevin Spacey)
- Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins)
- John McLaine (Bruce Willis)
- Everything Joe Pesci has played
- The Terminator
Of course in a couple of years, unless there is the greatest travesty in human civilisation, the number 1 spot will be firmly under the mask of Deadpool.
“Yeah, well, that’s just, like… your opinion, man.”
Let me explain my opinion.
Smeagol, The Tramp, The Godfather , Captain Jack Sparrow, The Joker, Keyser Soze and Hannibal the canibal need no explanation
The Dude just abides. He has no deep emotional conflict, no higher purpose, no journey to enlightenment or any such thing. He just wants his carpet back because “That rug really tied the room together.” He is not Mr. Lebowski, he is the Dude. “Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not “Mr. Lebowski”. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude. So that’s what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”
Indiana Jones made history cool and gave dreams to millions of children worldwide
Tyler Durden was good enough in the book but Brad Pitt somehow made him come alive with maniacal energy
Rocky Balboa is perhaps the greatest rags to riches and overcoming the odds character there is
The Good Bad and Ugly film was supposed to be the crowning achievement of the Man with No name (Clint Eastwood). Tuco stole and ran away with it. He is unabashedly a rogue and a liar and a cheat and somehow by the end of the movie we can’t help cheering for him.
Peter Sellers did something similar in the original Pink Panther movie. It was supposed to be all about the thief, it ended up all about the bumbling, stumbling detective.
John Mclaine and Han Solo portrayed the multiplicity of human nature (in a positive way), a combination of angst, anger, stubbornness, determination, confidence, fear, love and vulnerability
Jason Bourne changed a whole movie franchise, perhaps the most famous movie franchise of all time. He made James Bond look like a fool, an antiquated dinosaur, forcing the producers to reboot the entire series.
Talking of James Bond, there is a growing clamour for a black James Bond. The clamour is from the politically correct mafia. They want Idris Elba to be the next Bond.
Now here’s the thing, I have a marked distrust of the politically correct mafia and usually do the opposite of what they want.
But for this, I can’t really get annoyed. I don’t mind a black James Bond at all.
But there are two issues.
1. Why a black, why not an Indian or Chinese Bond? The politically correct mafia want a black Bond because “minority representation” and all that jazz. Well, Indians and Chinese are also significant minorities in Britain, so why not them?
If we go down the road of minority appeasement, how can you choose one minority over the other?
So ideally there should be a black Bond, an Indian Bond, a Chinese Bond, maybe a Jewish Bond and an Arab bond.
I don’t have anything against such an idea. Also, this might mean Indian Bond girls in the noodie, always a good thing
I do however draw the line at a Pakistani or a Bangal Bond – “amago nam Bond, Jams Bond” is an affront to humanity.
But this raises a matter of casting. The only Indian British actor I can think of is that Dev Patel – definitely not James Bond material. Thus, it probably has to be an Indian Indian actor.
And that raises the spectre of Shahrukh Khan or Salman Khan or Abhishekh Bachchan as James Bond!!!
OH THE HUMANITY!!!!!!!!
(Irfan Khan might be a good one though)
2. Idris Elba is mainly famous for Luther. He has also acted in Mandela, as Heimdall in Thor and in Prometheus.
What’s common in all these characters?
Brooding and heavy duty sighing and stoney expressions!!
Mr. Elba is really good at portraying brooding, thinking, tragic characters.
Bond has a roguish devil may care charm and arrogance in addition to the brooding. I have never seen Mr. Elba portraying such qualities in his characters. He is a good actor and ma be able to pull it off but its a risk nonetheless.
Why not consider some other well known black actors?
Morgan Freeman is too old, same with Lawrence Fishburn and Samuel Jackson and Denzel Washington
The Wayans brothers suck
There is something about Will Smith which does not quite give gravitas (despite Ali) to a role
Chris Rock is for comedy roles, so is Eddie Murphy.
Forest Whitakes has to be unfortunately disqualified because for his looks, despite him being a very good actor
So who does leave?
Terrence Howard, Djimon Hounsou, Don Cheadle, Cuba Gooding Jr and Jamie Foxx.
All 5 are good actors.
And in the case of Jamie Foxx and Don Cheadle spectacular actors.
Either of them would make a fantastic James Bond, and in my opinion, a better Bond than Mr. Elba.
And in my biased opinion – I adore Don Cheadle the actor – if you can have Don Cheadle in your movie, get Don Cheadle in your movie.
There you go, problem solved